RECIPIENT OF THIRD PLACE IN OUR FLASH CREATIVE NONFICTION CONTEST FOR WRITERS AGES 13-15
If the dandelion had never been picked off its stem, oh, then it would never have made friends with the ripples in the river and the grains of dense dirt. It would not be able to dip its feet into every wrinkle of the water possible. It would not tumble through boyish pirouettes in the breeze. I would still be chasing a dream that I was not bound for, no matter how hard I prayed.
Or would I?
Maybe I would have just found a new group of friends, one that didn’t make me drop tears like how people drop pennies. Maybe I would have decided to join a new club, one that didn’t make my thoughts all tangled around a wheel, a wheel that was always turning even whenI didn’t want it to. Maybe this dandelion would have lived a nourishing life surrounded by other plants — weeds, but plants nonetheless. Oh, and one day in the far future, the dandelion would be picked anyway, and would feel like the luckiest weed in the world. It would be weaved into a crown of colors and placed earnestly on the head of a little girl who would feel like she was the luckiest person in the world.
I started playing volleyball two years ago with a team that made my heart burn, really burn, when the season ended. You can check my old diaries if you want confirmation. This team gave me girls who stood by me when I clammed up, a body that didn’t morph each time a reflection was examined, and an imagination that could pilot me to the sky. I was covered in horseshoes and four-leaf clovers.
Oh my God, I was living a life that gave me life.
Now I have seven-hour camps. Now I have five-hour practices. Touch the floor,touch the leather, touch the net. Now I always have a backpack full ofdisorganized thoughts that plague me, threatening to spill out because myzipper can’t hold. Now my heart is broken by words from boys, from men who actlike boys and use words that I didn’t think adults would ever utter.
Now the dandelion is drowning too.The faded yellow is dunked over and over in muddy water, creating a soggy and sappy mess that can’t even be processed as it’s dunked all over again. The stem is split, the leaves are crumpled and dark with shame. Its once majestic corolla is withered in defeat. Now it knows it is just a weed. Now people who walk by don’t see the flower, they see invasion.
I was going to write that I alway stake the world for granted. No, I don’t. I think I appreciated every moment Ihad that felt like it was taken word-for-word out of a book. I promisedI-love-you’s every day and I breathed in the present. I was so forever grateful, but now I’m not even sure if this is the right path. Maybe I didn’t need the breeze at all. I tried, I really did. I just didn’t choose to be a weed.
Sol Lee is a14-year-old Korean-American writer who has lived in Pennsylvania her whole life. She especially enjoys creating stories within the genres ofpoetry and realistic fiction, as well as writing based on her (literal)dreams and nightmares. Her main purpose in writing is putting in wordswhat people have felt everyday but couldn’t express. Besides drafting in many documents that have never been finished, she enjoys playingvolleyball, reading any/all fiction, and catching up with friends.
"dunes dandelion" by jlodder is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/?ref=openverse.